Keeping Chickens: A Guide
Keeping chickens at home is quite a rewarding experience both physically and emotionally. When you keep chickens, you not only get a pet but you also get quite good insect control (if they are allowed to walk around the garden) as well as a good supply of manure. You will only need to keep a few chickens to supply enough eggs for a small family. Read on to find out how to keep chickens. %%AFC-ADVERT%%
How to Keep Chickens
- The first thing you need to consider before you learn how to keep chickens is whether you have the time, space and money for keeping chickens comfortably. Although chickens aren’t very expensive to keep, they will need feed, housing and a place to roam and scratch. A general rule of thumb for keeping chickens is to provide 10ft² per chicken.
- When keeping chickens, they will need a coup. You can either build your own chicken coops to keep chickens at home in or you can buy chicken coops. Coops for keeping chickens should have nest boxes, perches, entryways and big enough access to allow you to collect the eggs and to clean the coop out.
- An essential part of knowing how to keep chickens is to know how to protect the chickens from predators. When you keep chickens, you can protect the coop from foxes by placing it in a fenced area. You should also make sure the coop you are keeping chickens in is strong enough to keep a fox out.
- You should keep chickens that are suitable for your needs and the surroundings. Keeping chickens that are more suited to warmer climates in the UK may not be the best ideas so do some research on which breeds are best and which are available.
- When you learn how to keep chickens, you need to decide whether you want chicks or pullets. If you are new to keeping chickens it is best to buy pullets, they are slightly more expensive but don’t need the special care that chicks require.
- If you decide to keep chickens, you need to decide where to buy them from. You can buy chickens from bird trader or you can search around local poultry farms or hatcheries for suitable chicks or pullets in the spring.
- When you learn how to keep chickens, you will need certain supplies. Keeping chickens at home requires a waterer, a feeder, bedding and chicken feed with grit. If you decide to keep chickens from a young age, you will also need a breeder and heat source. Read our guide if you want to build your own chicken feeder.
- Like all pets, when keeping chickens at home you should try and spend some time with them. If you keep chickens from a young age they will be very tame. When you keep chickens, they will learn to anticipate your feeding visits and may well follow you around your garden.